Simple Modern’s Bryan Porter On Sustainable Amazon Growth

Steal the strategy that led Simple Modern to become Amazon’s #1 drinkware brand.

Simple Modern found an unusual path to success. First, it focused on becoming Amazon’s #1 drinkware brand. 

Now, they are driving demand in just about every retail channel. Hear Bryan Porter, co-founder and chief ecommerce officer of Simple Modern, spill:

  • How a simple Amazon strategy led to omnichannel success
  • The most effective way to prioritize inventory across multiple channels, including Amazon, Target, Walmart, and direct-to-consumer
  • How to optimize for second purchases and repeat sales for a healthy, sustainable growth

Tune in on: Apple | Google | Spotify

"Something that I think is under-talked about is just trying to optimize for a second purchase as much as the first purchase. The offer to the customer and the product market fit is the reason why they're gonna come back.”
Bryan Porter, co-founder & chief ecommerce officer at Simple Modern

Meet Bryan Porter

Bryan Porter is the co-founder and chief ecommerce officer at Simple Modern. With over 12 years of ecommerce experience, he oversees Simple Modern’s digital sales on DTC and Amazon.

Bryan strives to maintain a balance between pursuing growth for Simple Modern and nourishing his relationships with coworkers, family, and himself. And he defines success as living intentionally.

Connect with Bryan on: LinkedIn | Twitter

About Simple Modern

Simple Modern is more than Amazon’s #1 drinkware supplier. At the heart of their functional, stylish, and uniquely crafted coffee mugs, water bottles, and tumblers is their mission to “give generously.”

They design their products with customers’ busy days and lifestyles in mind. You can express yourself and be known by sharing a drink, engaging in conversations, and taking on adventures with their drinkware. 

Learn more about Simple Modern on: LinkedIn | Website

The Checkout episode 45 unpacks:

In today’s episode, Adii Pienaar and Bryan Porter crack the code to a successful launch on Amazon and inventory management strategies across multiple channels. Here are the highlights:


Advantages of an Amazon-first launch

  • How to organically secure the customers that Amazon provides you with good listings
  • “We saw the start of Simple Modern more as a channel strategy than a product insight for the genesis of our business.”

Overcoming the challenges of a mass distribution channel strategy

  • If you don’t have a brand, your price needs to be very competitive, so a mass channel strategy comes with low margins
  • “We do not have the advertising budget that a lot of DTC companies have, but we do think that there are ways for us to grow in DTC.”

Should you start a brand on Amazon or go DTC?

  • You don’t need a brand new product to create lasting value on Amazon, but a good strategy is to iterate on existing products that customers want
  • Bryan believes that brands who choose the DTC route should list their products on Amazon as well
  • “I might be a little too overly against advertising as the main strategy because of what we experienced. It’s not a long-term competitive advantage.”

Prioritizing repeated purchases

  • Product market fit meeting customer needs is the reason why customers will come back
  • “We track our net promoter score, which is really an indication of how satisfied our customers are with your products or how they experience your brand. And that’s a key metric for us to maximize.”

The most effective DTC conversion strategies

  • Selling things exclusively on the website is a good strategy for omnichannel retail
  • Simple Modern also leverages limited quantity launches, product bundling and personalization on their website
  • “My hope is that in 2 or 3 years, DTC is 20% of our Amazon sales, not because Amazon’s doing poorly, but because DTC is just growing at a faster rate.”

The intersection of Amazon, Shopify, and Facebook

  • Even though Simple Modern’s Facebook ads link to their website, customers end up shopping on Amazon
  • Bryan has seen 25% of sales from a Facebook campaign correlate to Amazon purchases
  • “A lot of our customer acquisition happens on Amazon, so maybe the reason why it’s so high for us is that we’ve trained customers to shop for us on Amazon more than other brands.”

The pros of DTC and omnichannel

  • Once you have a lot of brand awareness (like Nike), you can have more control over channel strategy and emphasize your DTC channel
  • “I think the exposure of omnichannel is really helpful for the brand. There’s a lot of data around needing multiple touch points with a customer to get a sale.”

Compartmentalizing inventory to grow each retail channel

  • Channel strategies have specific strengths and weaknesses, so you need to be smart on where you allocate resources
  • Bryan reveals the need to prioritize inventory stock for Amazon but also protect inventory for every channel, such as if there’s a website sale, they won’t sell on Amazon
  • “There’s a more strategic purpose for this inventory. That discipline has helped us grow each channel separately.”

Real success is living intentionally

  • “Whenever we live generously, treat others generously, and not try to get things for ourselves… that actually resonates with people.”
  • The importance of prioritizing relationships above all else
  • In Africa, “Ubuntu” is a concept that defines your sense of self by your relationship with others: ‘‘I am because we are.”